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Are You a Success? Workers Reveal Salary Tipping Point

Are You a Success? Workers Reveal Salary Tipping Point
Credit: Aslysun/Shutterstock

How much money do you need in order to feel successful? Most people say it doesn't require an overflowing bank account, according to new research.

Even though nearly two-thirds of workers aren't yet satisfied with their earnings, most think they can feel successful without earning large paychecks, finds a new study from CareerBuilder.

Specifically, more than half of those surveyed said they feel successful when making less than $70,000, while 23 percent said making between $70,000 and $100,000 is enough for them to feel successful.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said that, in many cases, success is relative to the type of work individuals do, or their current career stage.  

"Regardless of income, we found that workers tend to find success near their own salary level or in the range directly above," Haefner said in a statement. "This is healthy, because it shows workers can derive meaning from their work at any level while still striving for that next promotion or raise."      

Workers who do want a higher salary shouldn't be afraid to ask for it, the study suggests. While more than half of the employees surveyed have never asked for a raise, success rates are very high among those who have. The research discovered that 66 percent of workers who asked for more money ended up getting it.

Overall, the percentage of workers who said they earn their desired salary is positively correlated with rising income. The study revealed that the tipping point appears to be in the $75,000 to $100,00 range — the majority of workers in that salary range said they are currently earning their desired salary.

"The survey supports past research suggesting that the $75,000 threshold is particularly significant, as this level allows households in most areas of the country to not only get by, but enjoy an ideal lifestyle and a secure future," Haefner said. "Interestingly, what workers would ultimately like to earn does not necessarily factor into what they need for a successful career."

One option currently being debated in many companies is whether to make salaries known to all employees. While a majority of employers do not make pay transparent, support for such a policy is strong: Nearly half of the employers surveyed view openly disclosed salaries as positive, with 24 percent saying it ensures pay equality and 23 percent saying it can dispel wrong assumptions.

Those who oppose pay transparency said it's because they feel it can lead to jealousy and morale issues, violates worker privacy and can lead to equal-pay litigation.

The study was based on surveys of 3,372 workers and 2,188 hiring and human resources managers.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.